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Nikon P900 versus Sony RX100 V

The Nikon Coolpix P900 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2015 and October 2016. Both the P900 and the RX100 V are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (P900) and an one-inch (RX100 V) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon P900 vs Sony RX100 V

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon P900 and the Sony RX100 V. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the P900 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Nikon P900 vs Sony RX100 V
Compare P900 versus RX100 V top
Compare P900 and RX100 V rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX100 V is considerably smaller (59 percent) than the Nikon P900. Moreover, the RX100 V is substantially lighter (67 percent) than the P900. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the P900 nor the RX100 V are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the P900 gets 360 shots out of its EN-EL23 battery, while the RX100 V can take 220 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Nikon P900» 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
Sony RX100 V« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Kodak AZ901« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 4.7 in 27.4 oz 400 n Jan 2016 499 i i Kodak AZ901
Nikon P1000« » 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Nikon 1 J4« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 8.2 oz 300 n Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Ricoh GR II« » 4.6 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 8.9 oz 320 n Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
Sony HX99« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Sony HX95« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The P900 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the RX100 V, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon P900 vs Sony RX100 V

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon P900 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony RX100 V an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 V is 314 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.7. The sensor in the P900 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 V offers a 3:2 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.

Nikon P900 and Sony RX100 V sensor measures

With 20MP, the RX100 V offers a higher resolution than the P900 (15.9MP), but the RX100 V nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.33μm for the P900) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX100 V is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the P900, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the P900 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

P900 versus RX100 V MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Nikon P900» 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Nikon P900
Sony RX100 V« 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670Sony RX100 V
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Kodak AZ901« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p----Kodak AZ901
Nikon P1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon P1000
Nikon 1 J4« » 1-inch 18.2 5232 34881080/60p20.810.742653Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
Ricoh GR II« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880Ricoh GR II
Sony HX99« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
Sony HX95« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the RX100 V provides a better video resolution than the P900. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon P900 vs Sony RX100 V

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the RX100 V offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the P900 (2359k vs 921k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon P900, the Sony RX100 V, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Nikon P900»921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
Sony RX100 V«2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 V
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Kodak AZ901« »202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 2000 5.0 Y Y Kodak AZ901
Nikon P1000« »2359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
Nikon 1 J4« »- n 3.0 1037 Fixed Y 4000 60.0 Y n Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
Ricoh GR II« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
Sony HX99« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the RX100 V features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the P900 and the RX100 V have zoom lenses build in. The P900 has a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 optic and the RX100 V offers a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 V offers the faster maximum aperture.

The P900 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX100 V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Nikon P900»-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
Sony RX100 V«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 V
Canon G7 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G3 X« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Kodak AZ901« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Kodak AZ901
Nikon P1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
Nikon 1 J4« »-stereomono--mini2.0Y--Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic FZ2500« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
Ricoh GR II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
Sony HX99« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX95
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

The RX100 V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the P900 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the P900 was succeeded by the Nikon P1000.

Review summary: Nikon P900 vs Sony RX100 V

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon P900 and the Sony RX100 V? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P900:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2015).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 921k dots).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 140x103mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 600g or 67 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 7 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 V is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

P900 07:15 RX100 V

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the P900 or the RX100 V handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Nikon P900»-77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
Sony RX100 V«HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i Canon G3 X
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Kodak AZ901« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2016 499 i i Kodak AZ901
Nikon P1000« »Rec73/1003.5/5-3.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Nikon 1 J4« »--4.5/5-4/5 Apr 2014 549- i Nikon 1 J4
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2500
Panasonic FZ100« »Rec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Ricoh GR II« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
Sony HX99« »----4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
Sony HX95« »----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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